Your sump pump prevents rainwater and groundwater from flooding your basement. Instead, the water drains into the sump pump pit. From there, it’s pumped out of your basement and far enough away from the foundation of your residence that it can’t cause damage. Since this is such an important component of your home, it needs routine maintenance to keep it functioning properly. That begins with a professional inspection.
What to Expect During a Sump Pump Inspection
Many homeowners ask themselves, “Does my sump pump need to be inspected?” The answer is yes. When we come to your home to inspect the sump pump, there are six important components that we examine.
The pit is where the sump pump sits. Here, it gathers and collects water. The pump removes this water from the pit. We’ll make sure your pit is large enough to allow the sump pump to operate properly. According to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI), your opening should be at least 24 inches deep and 18 inches wide.
We’ll make sure you have a functioning check valve located on the discharge pipe. This device keeps the water in the discharge pipe from returning to your pit once the pump shuts off.
Your sump pump works hardest during extreme weather conditions. Unfortunately, these storms often cause power outages. We can make sure you have a backup power source, like a battery, and make sure it’s ready to go.
Your sump pump should have a removable cover. This cover keeps the water from evaporating into your basement. We’ll make sure you have one and that it fits properly.
We’ll let you know if your discharge location isn’t right. It should be 20 feet from your house. This keeps the water from draining back toward your home. We’ll also make sure it isn’t draining onto your neighbor’s property, into a public sewer system, or into a residential septic system.
You aren’t required to have an alarm on your sump pump, but it’s a nice feature to have. It sounds when the pump is activated. This alerts you that there is water buildup in your pit. If your sump pump has an alarm, we can test it to ensure it’s working properly.
Cleaning the Sump Pump
Cleaning the sump pump is just as important as having it inspected. When you schedule us for routine maintenance, we’ll both inspect and clean your pump. This could go a long way toward prolonging the sump pump’s lifespan.
According to the Sump and Sewage Pump Manufacturer’s Association (SSPMA), you should have your sump pump cleaned routinely. Have your sump pump cleaned monthly if your washing machine drains into it. The pump screen and the inlet opening can get dirty. Have it cleaned quarterly if the washing machine doesn’t drain into the pump. Regardless, all sump pumps need to be cleaned annually. We’ll remove the sump pump and clean both it and the pit.
Signs of a Defective Pump
There are signs you can watch for to tell you if your sump pump is broken. If you notice any of these, call us immediately so we can inspect the pump now. This allows us to locate and repair any issues before they cause more damage.
You may see that your pump starts off fine but can’t eject water. It should begin removing the water as soon as it turns on. If the screen is dirty or the pump is clogged, the water can’t leave. We can detach the pump and clean off any mud that’s blocking the inlet screen. This way, the water can once again flow properly.
A sump pump will turn on once the water in the pit reaches a certain level. Typically, the pump starts when the water reaches five gallons. If your pit is full but the pump doesn’t start, you have a problem. It could be any number of issues, such as a defective motor, loss of power, or a binding float.
When your sump pump shuts off, the valve on the discharge line will keep the water from coming back into the pit. If that valve stops working, the pit will fill back up and the pump will be restarted. Your pump will continue to turn on and off until the problem is fixed.
Your pump should turn off as soon as the pit is empty. If the pump continues to run, you could have a float switch that is defective. We can fix this issue before it damages the sump pump.
A sump pump normally makes a soft hum. It may need to be repaired if it is making unusually loud noises. When you hear a grinding or a rattling sound, something could be wrong with the fan or the impeller. The impeller draws water into the sump pump. Unfortunately, it has the potential to pull debris into the pump as well. When that occurs, it will continually vibrate. Eventually, the impeller will bend. Once this happens, it will need to be replaced.
Any device that works with water can rust. A sump pump is no exception, but there shouldn’t be visible amounts of rust. If this isn’t corrected, the rust can clog your plumbing.
If the sump pump has stopped functioning, there could be a problem with the motor. The motor might have stopped working because of damaged wiring, a tripped circuit breaker, or simply coming unplugged. It may also indicate a damaged extension hose or filter. During an inspection, we’ll look for the problem and make any necessary repairs.
The Benefits of Routine Sump Pump Inspections
Routine inspections give us an opportunity to locate problems and make the necessary repairs before it’s too late. If your sump pump isn’t working when a rainstorm hits, you could be looking at a flooded basement. This can lead to mold, bacteria, and costly repairs.
Routine inspections can extend the life of your sump pump. These devices are designed to be reliable, but without proper maintenance, your sump pump might not work when you need it most. When problems are avoided, you can count on your sump pump performing reliably for years to come.
Contact the Sump Pump Experts
At [company name], we’ve been serving Indianapolis and the surrounding areas since 1980. In addition to inspecting and maintaining your sump pump, we offer general plumbing services. We can install, repair, and perform routine maintenance on your pipes and fixtures to ensure that you always have the water you need, when you need it. We also deal with water softeners, filtration systems, and reverse osmosis. You can count on honest and reliable service from our experts. We are a BBB-accredited business with an A+ rating, and we are an Angi’s List Superior Service Award winner. As a member of the Water Quality Association, we offer free estimates and water analysis. Contact us at Cooper’s Water today for help with all of your sump pump and plumbing needs.